Argentinos Abroad: Messi brace in fiery clash with Valencia, Dybala injured, Di María booed, Caraglio fires Tijuana top & much more


Our weekly round-up of Argentinos plying their trade around the world has goals galore from fifteen different leagues. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment….

We start in Spain where Barcelona edged past Valencia in an ill-tempered clash that had a little bit of everything but was ultimately decided by the left boot of Lionel Messi. The Argentina captain drilled Luis Enrique’s side ahead in the first half but the Catalan club were punished for missing a host of chances as Los Che hit back with a quick-fire double. Luis Suárez almost immediately equalised before Messi’s dramatic late penalty sealed the points and sparked ugly scenes when Neymar was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd.

Elsewhere in the early stages of the title race, Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla edged past Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid to go momentarily top of LaLiga. Steven N’Zonzi scored the vital goal but it was a smart pass from Luciano Vietto that made it, as the 22-year-old not only came back to haunt Atleti but is quickly rediscovering the form that made him one of the most sought after young players in Europe.

Gerónimo Rulli celebrated his call-up to the Argentina squad with a clean sheet in Real Sociedad’s win over Alaves and Pablo Piatti scored for Espanyol as they came from three-down to salvage a point against Eibar.

The major story out of Italy was the worrying sight of Paulo Dybala limping out of Juventus’ defeat to AC Milan in the San Sira on Saturday. The 22-year-old has been named on this year’s Ballon d’Or shortlist but now faces a wait to see if he will be fit for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers next month. San Lorenzo’s Fernando Belluschi is reportedly on stand-by.

Juve’s defeat meant Roma could close the gap at the top and they did just that with a convincing 4-1 win over Palermo. Leandro Paredes scored the second but was indebted to Palermo goalkeeper Josip Posavec after the Croatian failed to read the bounce of the midfielder’s free-kick.

The big match of the weekend in France was Le Classique as Paris Saint-Germain welcomed Marseille to the capital but it was anything but a classic and off-form Angel Di María produced a performance of such inadequacy that his eventual substitution brought jeers from the crowd.

There was an Argentine goal in Ligue 1, however as Emiliano Sala headed Nantes in front in the Derby de la Bretagne only for Stade Rennais to come back and claim the bragging rights with a 2-1 win.

Pablo Di Blasis has been something of a regular to this feature this season but his Mainz side were outgunned by Schalke on Sunday thanks in part to Franco Di Santo. The former Wigan striker hasn’t started many matches in the Bundesliga this season but displayed excellent centre-forward skills to create the opening two goals.

In the Greek Super League, former Newell’s forward Martín Tonso was again on target as Atromitos sealed a late win over Iraklis. The 27-year-old finished off a counter attack with a wonderfully composed finish.

Matías Delgado scored a sensational free-kick in Basel’s 2-2 draw with Lugano in the Swiss top flight. The 33-year-old put the league leaders in front with the 30-yard strike but when the home side hit back it was Basel that required a late equaliser.

Leaving Europe now and in Australia, Fernando Brandán was again on the scoresheet for Melbourne City. After their derby victory last weekend, City slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Perth Glory but the ex-Temperley man finished smartly for his new club.

Major League Soccer’s regular season came to a close and although Diego Valeri scored from the penalty spot a defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps meant that the Portland Timbers failed to make the playoffs.

Tijuana remain out in front at the top of Liga MX and centre forward Milton Caraglio deserves enormous credit for his role in Lox Xolos resurgence. A towering header from Gabriel Hauche’s cross gave the home side an early lead and Caraglio’s pressure on Chiapas goalkeeper Federico Crivelli allowed Dayro Moreno to double the advantage.

Pachuca ensured they kept pace with Tijuana after coming from behind to beat Chivas. Franco Jara scored the crucial equaliser but credit must to Uruguayan Jonathan Urretaviscaya for his sensational winning goal.

Third placed Tigres were also winners at the weekend and goals from Lucas Zelarrayán and Ismael Sosa ensured victory away to Pumas. Zelarrayán’s stunning free-kick broke the deadlock and Sosa’s assist for the second and simple breakaway goal for the third ensured that there was to be no comeback by the home side.

Necaxa remain in the playoff places after a 3-2 win over Veracruz. Edson Puch and Fabián Espindola had put the home side into a commanding lead but Los Tiburones Rojo came back into it and forced an equaliser through former River Plate youngster Daniel Villalva only for Claudio Riaño to win it late on.

Another Pablo Barrientos goal gave Toluca a point in their hopes to qualify for the Liguilla and for the time being despite Monterrey claiming a point on Saturday, Los Diablos Rojos remain in seventh.

León have the final spot at the moment after a 3-1 win over Morelia took them up into eighth. A Mauro Boselli penalty and a well taken Germán Cano goal put La Fiera two-up before La Fiera ran out 3-1 winners.

Puebla are two points outside the playoff places as it stands but secured a valuable 2-1 win over Cruz Azul. Former Vélez and Boca midfielder Damián Escudero scored a superb free-kick as La Franja held on for all three points.

And finally in México, former Lanús defender Carlos Izquierdoz scored twice as Santos Laguna drew 2-2 with Atlas.

In Brazil, ex-Vélez midfielder Alejandro Cabral headed the only goal in Cruzeiro’s win over Vitoria.

Atlético Nacional remain top in Colombia despite drawing 2-2 with Independiente Medellín – Ezequiel Rescaldani scored from the spot for the current Copa Libertadores champions.

Deportes Tolima missed the chance to go top after also gaining just a point from their visit to Independiente Santa Fe. Jonathan Gómez scored for the home side but Tolima were able to salvage the draw.

Millonarios remain down in eighth but celebrated a 3-2 win over Cortulua with Maxi Nuñez scoring the winner ten minutes from time.

Emelec maintained pressure on Barcelona at the top of the table in Ecuador after a dramatic 3-2 win against Mushuc Runa. Trailing by two goals at the break, Los Electricos fought back with Cristián Guanca firing in the equaliser from distance before Angel Mena sealed victory.

A little further down the table and Universidad Católica beat Deportivo Cuenca – Luis Escalada had La Cato two-up, which later became three but goals from Argentine pair Raúl Becerra and Juan Pablo Segovia ensured a nervy last 20 minutes.

Bolívar remain top in Bolivia after a 2-1 win over Sport Boys. Juan Vogliotti gave the vistors the lead but a brace from Gastón Cellerino including a 93rd minute winner ensured the home sides three point lead was intact.

Elsewhere in Bolivia, Real Potosí thrashed Blooming 5-1 with Alexis González among the scorers.

There was another one-sided victory in Peru’s top flight at the weekend as Sporting Cristal held onto top spot with a 7-2 win against Cesar Vallejo. Alfredo Ramúa made it 2-1 before the break and when the midfielder set up compatriot Horacio Calcaterra for the fourth just after half time it ended the game as a contest.

Deportivo Municipal sit in third after a 2-0 win over Juan Aurich – former Newell’s youngster Maxi Velasco opened the scoring.

And finally in Paraguay, Guido Di Vanni scored from the penalty spot in Sportivo Luqueño’s 2-1 win over Nacional Asunción.

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